It was very dark in the alley, only the rustle of rats crossing the alley could be heard. Smith waited, hidden in a doorway and heard the expected sound of footsteps. He slowly drew out his knife. Smith waited until the man had gone past. Then he crept up behind him and plunged his knife deep into the mans back. The man fell silently to the path, the only sign of his wound was a slit in his silk shirt and a large red patch around it. Smith bent down and serched the man pockets; a smile came over his dirty face as he drew out a leather wallet he put it in his own pocket and disape[e]red around a corner.
[snip some counting of the spoils and selling them at a pawn broker]
He flung open the door of the barn and the gave a gasp of horror and astonishment for there in the barn were five of the kings soldiers. Come with us your under ar[r]est" Said one of the soldiers, Smith slammed the door shut and ran for his life.
[It goes on, five and a bit pages, ending with]
some soldiers came and arrested him and two day later he was hanged.
The teacher writes at the end. Good, though the ending was rather sudden.
This was written in pencil in my school English book on the 26th of May in the long hot summer of 1976!
I was 10 years old ... and writing grimdark? :)
I've included the teacher's corrections in . You'll see they're rather sparse and that although even in 1976 I was writing "your" instead of "you're" my teacher failed to correct me!
Another book contains my 1977 review of the Hawkmoon books by Michael Moorcock (apparently my mother recommended them!), and this 1977 book review of "U-Boat" that shows an early interest in morally ambiguous characters...
"The best book I've read this term is called U-Boat. I like it because no one is portrayed as being entirely good or for that matter bad. It is full of ingenious situations and problems and equally ingenious ways of getting out of them and solving them. [it continues]"
As a footnote: I have no recollection of writing anything that's in these books! Scary...